Practical instructions of the Faculty of Arts for the exceptional situation

The University of Helsinki has implemented exceptional measures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Site updated: 27 October, 2020

Below are further details regarding the Faculty of Arts.

  • Regular and full-time working at university premises requires permissions still from the Faculty Situation Centre at least until the 30th of September. This way the faculty has centralised knowledge of who works in the faculty's premises and will enable to trace possible transmission chains. Please apply for permission to work at the UH premises using e-form.

  • Complementary information for students at the Faculty of Arts: instructions regarding faculty examinations during the spring and summer has been updated. 
  • At the University of Helsinki a separate agreement on work abroad is always made before leaving abroad to work.  Please fill in a disquisition of working abroad in the SAP HR system.

  • Please note that studies requiring human contact (interviews, surveillance, monitoring, etc.) due to the corona situation should not, as a rule, be carried out. The risk of spreading infections is too high, and continuation is contrary to the University’s responsibility principle. This type of research activity should be discontinued if still under way, and new ones should not be initiated until the situation with regard to the restrictions on assembly has been dismantled.

Specified instructions in the Faculty of Arts for organizing teaching in the spring of 2021

Updated: 27 October, 2020

Due to the coronavirus situation, the University of Helsinki has decided that remote teaching is recommended also in the spring of 2021. The Faculty of Arts has decided on the following specifications to the university’s general guidelines for organizing teaching in the spring term:

The spring term’s teaching at the Faculty of Arts will be organized mainly as remote teaching. The overall amount of contact teaching should not significantly exceed the amount of contact teaching given during autumn term 2020. Permission for contact teaching will be applied for in the same way as was done for the fall term.

As there may not be enough facilities to accommodate all requests, the Faculty’s response center has decided that facilities for contact teaching will be booked according to the following order of priority:

  1. PSP (personal study plan) and orientation: 1– 3 meetings per group / meetings in groups or individually are possible
  2. Equipment needed in teaching (software, rooms with special equipment etc.): rooms can be booked for the occasions when use of the equipment is required (1–100 % of contact teaching)
  3. Teaching in international MA programs: max. three courses as contact teaching during the spring term
  4. Teaching for the first year of studies (or similar) in domestic-language programs: max. two courses during the spring term
  5. Examinations (e.g. end-of-course exams)
  6. Proseminars / Master’s seminars / Doctoral research seminars / practicums: 1– 3 meetings
  7. Intermediate studies: max. one course 100 % or two courses 50 % as contact teaching per intermediate studies module
  8. Other reasons: 1– 3 meetings

Evaluating the need for contact teaching and submitting the applications:

  • The responsible teacher of each study unit evaluates if the study unit or some parts of it are necessary to organize as face-to-face teaching.
  • Additionally, the board of each degree program will discuss the need for contact teaching. When needed, the board can decide on additional prioritizations within the programme.  If suchprioritizations are made, the board will notify teachers in the program before the application period for contact teaching begins. We ask the boards to also notify the faculty of their additional guidelines by sending a message to
  • The responsible teacher will notify the faculty of the need for face-to-face teaching and the reasoning behind the request with an e-form by November 11, 2020. The form will open on November 2, 2020.
  • In case all contact teaching applied for cannot be organized, for example due to a shortage of suitable rooms, the directors of the programs will prioritize the applications.
  • Streaming lectures: If you want to open your contact teaching also for remote attendance, please mention it in your application. This way we can book you a room suitable for streaming the session. If you want the teaching to be attended remotely only, but need a room for yourself to arrange the streaming, please mention also this in your application.
  • We will make all reservations for teaching facilities centrally, based on the applications. Please do not send direct requests for changes to the coordinators of your programs, and do not make reservations independently, e.g. through Optime Portal. If existing reservations need to be changed, always contact
  • Please note that the recommendation for remote teaching applies to all teaching, regardless of where it takes place. This means that contact teaching outside the university premises is also not allowed. Please note also that the teaching times already agreed on might have to be changed based on the availability of suitable rooms. The rooms will nevertheless be booked according to the lecture’s original length and original group size It’s therefore not allowed, for example, to combine several planned sessions into a single, long contact teaching session
  • The teaching arrangements must always adhere to the general safety instructions of the Finnish authorities and the university. Safety distances have to be maintained at all times, and everyone is expected to wear a protective mask during all contact teaching. The instructions are subject to change if the situation with coronavirus changes. Up-to-date general guidelines related to the situation can be found on this page and the University’s webpage: Corona virus situation at the University of Helsinki.
  • The list of students enrolled on a course has to be kept up to date for the purpose of tracing possible covid exposure situations.
  • Compulsory class attendance does not apply to contact teaching. It is not therefore possible to require a student to attend contact teaching. If teaching is organized as contact teaching, the teacher is not required to organize remote teaching along with it. In these cases, a student will study independently according to the teacher’s instructions, if independent studying is possible. Students must notify the teacher that they belong to an at-risk group and cannot attend contact teaching.

Organisation of teaching in the Faculty of Arts in summer and autumn 2020

  • Reminder: the teacher updates the change information related to the way in which he or she implements his or her course on the course page. If you are not familiar with using the course page, see instructions on Instruction for teaching -page.
  • Technical equipment, such as microphones and headphones: it is recommended that necessary and affordable additional supplies be purchased independently, as delivery to the Metsätalo is slow and difficult at the moment. You can reserve Unitube for higher quality recordings. For more information, please see The effect of coronavirus on teaching -page.
  •  All teaching and exams will be arranged remotely during the summer. The only exception is the tests on the rights of optional studies (so-called “level tests”), which are organised as physical test events because they are considered critical for the progress of studies.
  • The Faculty Examinations of the summer will be organised using alternative methods of performance. Registration for the exams ends 31.5. See below for instructions.
  • The tutoring and orientation activities will be organised remotely in the end of August. 
  • With regard to the 1st period, the University's recovery plan states that teaching and other activities will startnormally, with the exception of mass teaching events; online learning will continue to be possible. However, it is good for teachers to prepare for the 1st period's teaching, due to the uncertainties of the situation, also as distance learning.
  • Pedagogical lecturers are also planning guidelines to support the planning of possible autumn hybrid teaching so that some students can complete the same course in contact teaching and others at a distance, if the situation so requires. When planning autumn teaching activities, we must prepare for the possibility of having to return to distance teaching.
Summer exams:
  • When considering the suitable replacement arrangements of summer exams, help can be obtained from pedagogical lecturers as well as from instructions for teaching. In many cases, the summer exam is replaced by a written learning task or a scheduled Moodle test, see more detailed instructions for conducting a good remote test. It is advisable for teachers to report on their courses page on the replacement methods for summer exams. It is also a good idea to add more detailed instructions for students, such as the Moodle manual for students. The student will primarily check the way the courses/exams are performed on the course page. If information is not available, the student must contact the teacher within one week counting from the  registration DL, at the latest by 7.6 

Instructions for organizing teaching in the fall semester 2020

Due to the coronavirus situation, the University of Helsinki has decided that remote teaching is strongly recommended also in the fall semester 2020 (University-level plan A). The Faculty of Arts has decided on the following specifications on the university’s general guidelines for organizing teaching in the fall semester:

  • As a rule, teaching at the Faculty of Arts will be organized as remote teaching during the fall semester. This course of action is necessary because the required safety distances of 1–2 meters significantly limit the use of the teaching facilities at the City Centre Campus, and there are many different units using these facilities.
    • The university will define a specific temporary maximum capacity for each lecture room.
    • This work will be completed during the summer months, after which the necessary face-to-face teaching will be placed in the rooms.
    • It’s essential that everyone involved in the planning of teaching understand that the temporary maximum capacities will be substantially smaller than capacities under normal circumstances: for example, a lecture hall with approx. 200 places can for now be used for teaching groups of approx. 30 people.
  • PSP guidance for first-year students in BA programmes, international MA programmes, and, if needed, in other MA programmes can have 1–3 of the meetings on location at university premises. If needed, the meetings will be divided into smaller groups. When the weather allows it, the meetings can also be held outside.
  • All other teaching should, as a rule, be organized as remote teaching. Teaching for a course / part of a course can be offered on location at university premises only in cases where arranging face-to-face teaching is absolutely necessary. This type of teaching includes, for example, teaching that requires special facilities, equipment or programmes.
  • The need for organizing face-to-face teaching will be evaluated as follows:
    • The responsible teacher of each study unit evaluates if the study unit or some parts of it are necessary to organize as face-to-face teaching.
    • The responsible teacher will notify the faculty of the need for face-to-face teaching and the reasoning behind the request by June 17, 2020 with an e-form (the form and related instructions will be distributed to teachers separately).
    • The Faculty of Arts Response Centre/The Dean will make the final decisions on face-to-face teaching offered at university premises and will prioritize the requests, if needed.
  • If a course is organized as face-to-face teaching, the teaching times already agreed on might have to be changed based on the availability of suitable rooms. If face-to-face teaching that requires e.g. special equipment will have to be placed in a room where the safety distance requirements cannot be fully met, other safety equipment is used when necessary (face masks, protective gloves).
  • If a course is organized as face-to-face teaching, the teacher is not required to arrange a parallel remote teaching option. In these cases, the student will complete the teaching through independent study as instructed by the teacher, if possible to arrange. Students are required to notify the teachers if they belong to a risk group and cannot participate in face-to-face teaching.
  • Teachers are not required to make a recording of any face-to-face teaching events for students to watch at a later date. The university regulations on compulsory attendance have been revoked until further notice.
  • This means that absence in itself cannot be used as grounds for failing a student. It’s nevertheless possible to utilize methods of completion that require attendance (e.g. group discussions).